Sabah govt to help cover additional costs to return Everest climber's body to state

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government will assist in covering additional costs to bring back the remains of Mount Everest climber, Awang Askandar Ampuan Yaacub, to his hometown in Papar here.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali said this was mentioned to him during a briefing to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor recently.

Awang Askandar died while scaling the mountain on May 19.

"The Chief Minister gave his assurance that the state would help pitch in costs that are not covered by insurance so that Awang Askandar can be brought home to his village in Kg Benoni, Papar, for burial," he said in a statement Monday (May 22).

He said this was to also fulfil the wishes of Awang Askandar’s family who wanted his body back in Sabah.

Armizan, who is Papar MP, said the body of Awang Askandar, who was Kedah Civil Defence Force director, was still in the process of being brought down from the Mount Everest base camp to Kathmandu, Nepal.

He said this process was expected to commence on May 23 if the weather permitted.

He was informed of this latest update during a video call with Datuk Mohammad Ali Selamat, secretary of the Foreign Affairs consular division, and Mohd Fazle Abu Hasan, Counsellor and Charge d` Affaires of the Malaysian Embassy in Kathmandu.

"Hajiji also said that the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition has collected donations for the family to handle matters relating to Awang Askandar’s burial," said Armizan.

He said anyone who wishes to make contributions to the family can do so via Yayasan Kebajikan Sabah (YKS).

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